Monday, January 2, 2017
Forage grass could increase milk production by 40%.
A new reports states that African dairy farmers could benefit from new varieties of high-quality, drought-resistant forage grass known as Brachiaria that boosts milk production by 40 per cent.The forage grass could enable farmers increase their incomes, according to experts at the Colombia-headquartered International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – a CGIAR Research Center. The study demonstrates the high potential for improved forages in East Africa and high payoff for investment in improved forages. Brachiaria grass is climate-friendly and has high crude protein and less fiber, which leads to better use and digestion by cattle, in turn leading to less methane gas produced for each unit of livestock product such as milk or meat. Methane is one of the gases associated with global warming. The grass is relatively drought-tolerant compared to the Napier or elephant grass commonly used in East Africa and the grass can easily be conserved as hay for utilization during forages scarcity or for sale. The study shows that a 40% increase in milk production is achievable in East Africa after feeding livestock with Brachiaria,milk production increased by 150 per cent between 2004 and 2012, from 197.3 million litres to 497.9 million litres. continue